Please share with the community what you think needs improvement with NetApp ONTAP.
What are its weaknesses? What would you like to see changed in a future version?
I think everything can be improved, really. The IT world is evolving all the time, so there's always a new challenge and always a new thing to improve. It is harder to say what that could be. In a perfect world, there should exist some kind of guide as to what kind of workloads you would be able to mix within the same cluster or aggregate. That would be something really good and useful for us because we have centralized everything in just one MetroCluster. Now we are not sure if that architecture is actually giving us a few headaches or if it is something different. We have more than 15 petabytes of space use and we have a really low percentage of failures. In the boxes that are not really I/O (Input / Output) intensive, they are working very well.
What I would like to see in the next release is the ability to combine all the clusters. Make it so that they will work not just pairs. If I have a four-node cluster, I want it to work for four and not just four pairs of clusters. This is what I am expecting as an enhancement.
The way you attach, move, migrate, and access LUNs is complicated, and if you do not know how to do it, it can be a great problem for your IT environment.
We're at 9.3 so when we go to 9.5 we would like the synchronous SnapMirror because our users would like that, especially the ones that do the conveyor belt of data. We'd like that. A lot of the other ones, I'd like just to see go to HCI, but that's just another investment to go to. I'd have to go back and look at everything else. For ONTAP 9, 9.5, we like to keep up with everything that's going on because we don't let anything lag too much.
Synchronous NetMirror and FlexCache features will be back again. This is really great. It will help us be more efficient but it will take some time until it really comes down and we can use it. We hope that SSD's will be cheap enough so that we can consolidate and save reg space in the future.
There is a lot a lot of functional integration that we look forward to for improvements. I'm learning where they're going and I'm very interested to see those improvements and how they can help us.
The additional features I would like to see in ONTAP, and NetApp would probably be the single pane of glass software. Over the years that's probably the biggest area that we've struggled with. NetApp has had a lot of good products, but a lot of them haven't necessarily seamlessly integrated with each other and you have to go to multiple management consoles to manage their software or their hardware. From a customer point of view, I think that single pane of glass where you could just add modules and enable functionality would be the most beneficial thing that NetApp could add.
I would like to see them have a continued focus on stability because there's so much software involved that it'd be really nice to just continue to have developers focus on that. It's the most important thing in the end, and other than that, I think they're working on a lot of the stuff that I personally am looking for, as well as more Ansible modules, and PowerShell modules.
The initial UI integration could be quite a lot better. I would like to have deduplication and SSD features in the product.
It should have the ability to be very agile and release more cloud-centric products as compared to some of its competitors. We would like it to have the ability to run or manage a solution in the cloud. This would allow us to migrate our data on-premise to off-premise in cloud solutions.
We would like to have additional cloud integration and the ability to Snapshot directly to Amazon. This would help us reduce costs, provide us additional disaster recovery, and give us a site that's not owned by us.
* We would like full automation of deployment. * The ability to scale out. * The lack of an API is a big thing for us that needs to be improved. It needs proper API support.
* We would like to be able to provide feedback immediately after receiving technical support. * Make it a simpler. Our entire industry is moving towards simplicity or automation, we spend a lot of time doing storage allocation. It's too complex. * Have integration with other storage providers. * I would like cloud integration where we can send data to the cloud. Engineers should be able to click on one button (integrated with their phones), and move the data from NetApp to cloud.
It takes them a few seconds to do a failover. I hope they can reduce this to milliseconds or at least drive it down to less than two seconds. Some of their competitors are already doing this.
I would like to see FlexGroup volumes come to parity in terms of software features with Flex volumes. It seems like FlexGroup volumes have massive scalability, but their features set is not the same as Flex volumes, so we are currently unable to use it.
They could lower prices so my management doesn't complain about cost. Other than that, I'm always happy with the releases.
While its performance has been great, the configuration with the MetroCluster has been a bit of a headache. We've been working through it. However, it's a bit of a tedious process. With the MetroCluster, in theory, we should have good reliability. We have been having some issues just the finishing the configuration. Some of our DR tests have been not successful, so it's been a little troubling. We have had some issues with the architecture, because of the complex setup with the MetroCluster. While it is getting there, we've had problems. We've had some outages trying to get the system up, so it hasn't been very good, but I'm hoping we get there. This does not seem like it's necessarily a NetApp issue, but the architecting of it has been a little rough. Going forward, I want to see a simplified deployment and more straightforward recommendations on what is required for it. They're a little vague, and we've had some issues where we would like to have a tool that can scan the environment and find issues before deployment, fixing issues. So, when we're deploying it, we're not running into problems. Simplification would definitely help.
I wish tech support would be better. I wish I could talk to somebody more easily and qualified, because this is way it is supposed to be. At the moment, you talk to an entry level people, and sometimes they know less than you. You waste two to three hours with them. Finally, they send you to a higher level person who knows something. This is something many companies need to improve.
I would like them to support NetApp All Flash in upcoming NVMe versions. We have an AFF8040 and NVMe version 9.4 does not currently support it. I would like to have an easier connection to the cloud on the back-end. Something that brings the cold data out to the cloud and brings it back when needed. We want ONTAP to do this. While the data efficiency features are great, I want to see more efficiency and compression type of technology.
Deployment guides. If the customer wants to integrate with another product they need deployment guides.
If they could come up with some more automation, this would be helpful.
I would like to see more integration of the features with the CIFS and SMB Protocols. We also want integration with iSCSI. Right now, there are a lot of gap between some bleeding edge technology and the assembly protocols. Therefore, I want to see those areas improved in the future releases.
I would like the ability to perform backups in the cloud. That way you don't have to worry about building the data center. Everything's already in the cloud.
One of the things that we were looking at being able to do a FlexGroup NFSv4. Right now, 9.4 goes up to NFSv3, but if we could get the NFSv4 solution on a 9.4, or a future release, that would be awesome.
I'm waiting for end-to-end NVMe.
They use a lot of PowerShell for managing things and there are still a few things that you can't do through PowerShell cmdlets that you can do in the native CLI. It would be nice if they got more of those added in.
We would like more building performance monitoring. Right now, we have to buy separate products.
The product already has more features than we can keep up with. I'm looking for a performance bump.
Especially with the all-flash arrays, we would like to see better storage efficiency and deduplication. In terms of manageability, it would be great if NetApp would add more native reporting tools into the dashboard so that we don't need to use the third-party tool for analyzing our environments or to generate any reports. This would be especially helpful for companies that need to generate some chargeback for the customers. Vendors in the market are trying to simplify their technologies. They're working to make anything from the hardware and installation to the management of the array, simpler. And I think it would be great if NetApp worked to make the whole process simpler to help customers achieve their goals easier and faster. For example, NetApp could work to simplify tech refresh or migration. Some more reporting tool would be great as well.
I would like to see some sort of a free version of OnCommand: A stripped down version of OnCommand Unified Manager offering a bit better usage for enterprise users. We have found that it's very hard to get it without buying it outright. I wish they had a better marketing with the product. It's probably my biggest gripe with them. You really need OnCommand to do a lot of cool stuff with NetApp, and they make it hard to get. It's not an all inclusive model. You have the option to purchase modules to make the entire ecosystem coherent. I would like the option to pay one price and get everything all inclusive, like OnCommand. If you don't have a TAM or SAM, it can be difficult to get P1 cases.
Feature-wise, it does most of what we want. The only thing I don't like is that firmware upgrades require downtime. It would be beneficial if we could do upgrades without as much downtime.
The config could be a little easier. It's not entirely difficult, but it could be a somewhat easier. I have seen other vendors make it easier.
They should make the storage arrays more easily tied to your accounts.
I would like more security against the malwares, spyware, and ransomware. I feel like ONTAP is a bit lacking in this area.
We are always looking for more security enhancements and ways to continue to provide security encryption, whether it's data in rest or security in transit. We would also like to have more enhanced encryption beyond the regular TLS and 256-bit.
I would like more diagnostic generation. Right now, it's a pain to go into the controller and do a full diagnostic and export. If that could be streamlined in any way and not be so tedious, because it's a pain to go through all the different steps and have the command memorized or have to look it up. If there was some way NetApp could incorporate it into the native ONTAP command center, that would be great.
I would like to see Synchronize Snap mode in the next release.
I would like it to be more user-friendly. When you open the main dashboard, anyone should be able to know exactly what is going on, even without a tech background. Minimal training should be required.
There is room for improvement in the stability. They have been trying to become simpler, and as a result, there have been road bumps along the way. I have personally experienced this.
Generally, their products are good when they come out of the gate. However, what would be good is when we uncover new issues, if those could be addressed quickly. We would like to see SnapMirror encryption in the next release and have better access to feature development.
We have been talking to them about the monitoring tools and performance improvement tools which would enhance it a bit. In a session, here at NetApp Insight 2018, I heard that OCI, which is one of the tools that is becoming more robust, will include more things that the host team can understand and make use of. So things that we're looking for are getting added.
I need to be able to validate how the host is performing from the storage, as I am concerned about the host performance and storage connectivity to the host. They have to improve on the data and monitoring tools.
The PowerShell scripting capabilities right now are all over the place as far as which rich operating systems are supported. They all support Windows, but the HCI product with the SolidFire integration also supports PowerShell on Mac and Linux. It would be nice if the rest of the NetApp APIs caught up with PowerShell on other operating systems besides Windows. Because we're deploying more non-Windows operating systems, it would be helpful if we would be able to use that utility. We have not been able to save space by using this product.
I would like to see more evolution towards the cloud.
I would like to see more integration into the cloud, as we are pushing to do more cloud-based compute. It is just easier to get the storage and everything synced up there and move to the cloud. We want NetApp to keep down the cloud integration path. It still needs some improvement. Overall, there needs to be more cloud integration in all NetApp products. NetApp needs make sure that we don't have any downtime and also keep improving on the non-disruptive pieces to avoid bringing systems down.
I would like to see volume efficiency come closer to what Dell EMC can do with, for instance, their XtremIO platform.
The vendor diagnostics, which allows for movement from one vendor to another vendor using the application technology that is available. It should be able to talk to any vendor, not just NetApp to NetApp. We should be able to replicate the data, so the next feature should not be vendor specific.
SnapLock is the feature we would like to see enhanced. As a bank, we store data for compliance for a long time: ten years, 15 years. The data would be locked. So they should enhance the SnapLock features. At the same time, the customers want a seamless failover and failback for SnapLock. As a bank, we want to look at the data availability, so every quarter we failover and failback. Today, we can failover but we can't failback. We'd like to be able to do both.
I could see the GUI being a little bit more refined, the presentation layer being a little stronger, a little less sluggish.
The toughest thing that we have right now is a cabling issue. There are so many that you need to connect. I would like to see more S3 integration with other vendors, objects, or instruments. We are a big Dell EMC shop and would like to have this integration.
The cloud features, the ability to go into the cloud would be a feature I'd like to see improvements on. They could also improve on their ability to back up storage.
I would like to see more in the public cloud space around things like object storage. A bit more granularity around how that gets deployed would be nice, but other than that I think they've got it nailed. The trend is heading in that direction, where more and more customers want to deploy applications that leverage object storage. It would be nice to have a more seamless integration, although it's not bad at the moment.